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Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County (CCE-Steuben) ended the 2019 Agricultural Literacy Week with a special event at the Avoca Central School last Friday. Stephanie Mehlenbacher, agriculture teacher at the school, turned her classroom into a Farmers’ Market to emphasize the importance of buying local foods. Students were given $3 in Ag Bucks to visit the Dairy, Fruits and Vegetables, and Meat stations to use in “purchasing” their own produce. New York Assemblyman Phil Palmesano then read this year's featured book to the first graders.
Agricultural Literacy Week focuses on fostering awareness, understanding and appreciation of how we produce food and fiber, what we eat, and how we live, by helping educators, students and their communities learn about and engage with agriculture and food systems. Established is 1985, the New York Agriculture in the Classroom is a partnership of Cornell University, the NYS Department of Ag & Markets, the NYS Education Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the New York Farm Bureau.
This year’s featured book was “On the Farm, At the Market” written and illustrated by G. Brian Karas. In it students are taken on a journey to local rural, suburban, and urban farmers’ markets to explore the interconnected community of farmers and eaters, and how the food sold at the market comes together to create the meals we share. CCE Steuben coordinated the distribution of this book to 14 libraries and 19 of the county schools so librarians could read the book to the children during Agricultural Literacy Week.
Mehlenbacher helped organize the school event along with CCE-Steuben Agriculture Educators Ariel Kirk and Ainsley Robbins and Executive Director Larkin Podsiedlik. New York State FFA Officer Patrick Coombe worked with the agriculture students on leadership, team-building activities and helped the Avoca FFA build their program.
For more information on this program and other education programs in the areas of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Financial Literacy, Nutrition Education and 4-H Youth Development, visit PutKnowledgeToWork.org or call CCE Steuben at 607-664-2300.
More photos available at: https://steubencountyphotos.smugmug.com/2019-Agricultural-Literacy-Week/